In the summer months, humans and animals alike feel the heat – the only difference is that our pets can’t complain. That’s why it’s up to us as pet owners to make sure our pets are comfortable and safe. In addition to providing water and shade for your pet, here are a few more tips to keep your furry friends out of harm’s way when the summer temperature rises:
- Too Hot To Trot: Remember that pets don’t have shoes to protect their paws from the heat of the pavement. To find out if the pavement is too hot, place the back of your hand on the pavement for up to eight seconds. If you can comfortably rest your hand for five seconds, the pavement is fine. If it is uncomfortable or you have to lift your hand early, then the pavement is too hot for animals. Click here to read more about protecting your pet’s paws.
- Know Your Pet’s Limits: Some pets need more care than others. Companions that are older and/or have more mass to love are substantially more susceptible to heatstroke as opposed to younger, fitter animals. Also, pets with flatter faces, such as pugs or Persian cats have more trouble regulating their body temperatures; so keep this in mind when planning your pet’s outdoor schedules and activities.
- Fun In The Sun: Just like humans, animals are prone to sunburn. While trimming your cat or dog’s hair is fine, shaving leaves their skin exposed to harmful UV rays. Even with a full mane, pets still might need sunblock (not regular sunblock, but pet-certified sunblock) if they have fairer, pink skin.
- Wet N’ Wild: Always supervise your pets when they are around water. Even if they know how to swim, pets may need assistance in deeper water. To be safe, it’s always a good idea to get your pet a life jacket. After their swim, be sure to rinse off their fur because, let’s face it – chlorine doesn’t treat hairdos well in any species.
- Warm Weather Warning Signs: Finally, always know the signs of heatstroke and distress for your furry friend. Excessive panting, drooling, trouble walking, and fainting are all symptoms that warrant immediate attention. You can cool down your pet by wetting the paw pads and ear flaps with cool water or placing cool wet cloths under the armpits, between the hind legs, and over the neck. Getting your pet inside and contacting their veterinarian should be done as soon as possible – it’s the difference between life and death.